Please ignore the haggard nails, we'd been doing tie-dye. ;)
The rat babies have been growing like little weeds! At this stage they were still unable to see, but their ears have started to open up and showcase themselves. All of Deadpool's babies, AKA the Deadites, inherited Dumbo ears as both their parents had them. Only a few of Ripley's crew (of the Nostromo, naturally) developed dumbo ears despite having the same father. Genetics! While I certainly claim no great depth of understanding when it comes to the intricacies of rat genetics, I do find it very intriguing to learn about. I believe that by breeding our dumbo eared double rex to a standard coated dumbo we've gotten a batch of 100% rex babies, some with silky coats and others with short, curly fur...but then I'm not entirely sure as some of her litter look pretty bald.
This little sweetie is Bendleton, or Ben for short. He's definitely gotten a luxuriously silky coat! So soft and shiny! He's been growing bigger, faster, than the rest of the Deadites.
A couple of the babies were still pretty runty... :(
Starting to get harder and harder to keep them together long enough for a photo...
The one closest to the camera is Newt, who developed a striking resemblance to her aunt Ripley, hence the name. Behind her is Orcha, another little girl, but you can see how beautifully shiny her coat is!
Aww, hi sweetie!
This is the big day! The Deadites have started opening their little eyes and trying to take in the world around them. They're still on the clumsy side but are definitely getting much more difficult to keep in one place. One of our runts passed away peacefully in the cage during the night... :( They're still nursing at this stage but have begun to show a little interest in other foods in the cage.
This little sweetie never opened his eyes...poor little guy was a runt until the end, which wasn't very long after this. :( He was kicked out of the nest and ignored, when we'd check on him he'd be hunched in a corner shivering...over a day or two he got progressively worse. He's no longer with us, but he's not suffering either...
Still far from agile, they can wiggle their way out of the nest and will scamper short distances before tiring out and returning to the cuddle puddle. Found one little guy trying to nibble on a piece of carrot when I checked on them.
I love how at this age they've begun lifting their heads to smell the breeze...looks like they're little wolf pups trying to howl for the first time! ^_-
They've also started trying to groom themselves, though they're pretty clumsy so you'll catch one toppling over or even tumbling off of edges pretty often. Really have to keep a close eye on their adventuring because they'll get right up to the edge and...fall off. They're starting to actually look like little rats now.
No photos of the 17th-20th days, sorry! :(
We were in the process of moving and it was a bit too chaotic to pull out the little guys as often as I had hoped to...To try to compensate for that, I've been taking a lot of photos of the other litter to chart their progress during these weeks. I'll have that post up soon!
Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into their development!